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following :-" That it appears to this convention that it is exceedingly desirable that suitable records should be kept in every school, and would recommend that the books provided for this purpose by the English Sunday School Union should be obtained, and used by every scholar in our Union."
These repeated testimonies will serve to prove the extensive and beneficial influence exerted by the publications of the Union in various parts of the world.
In reporting the domestic proceedings of the Union, the Committee have to refer, in the first instance, to the death, on Sunday, September 12th, of Mr. William Bugby, who so long laboured with the successive Committees of the Union in carrying on its operations. Ho joined the Committee in the year 1818; and, until advancing years and the removal of his residence compelled him, in 1854, to relinquish his office, he was one of the most punctual and industrious of its members. His business habits, his poetical talent, and his thoroughly catholic spirit, rendered his co-operation most valuable, and caused the loss of his services to be severely felt, although they were partly supplied by the presence of his eldest son on the Committee. There is one of the publications of the Union which received especial attention from him ; “ The Scholar's Hymn Book.” He laboured diligently in the Sub-Committee, by which that work was compiled, and some of the hymns inserted were composed by him. The value of those services may be partly estimated by the success which has attended that publication, of which hundreds of thousands have been circulated in this country and the colonies, and of which no less than 180,000 copies have been issued from the Depository during the last three years. One of the latest of Mr. Bugby's literary efforts was the little piece, entitled, “ The Opposite side of the Way," written at the erection of the Jubilee Memorial Building. It afforded the Committee a melancholy pleasure to record on their minutes an expression of their grateful recollection of his services, and their sympathy with his widow and family, to whom a copy of the resolution was forwarded.
The pressure of his other engagements has compelled Mr. Forsaith to retire from the office of secretary. He, however, desires still to serve the Union as a member of the Committee; and it has afforded the Committee pleasure to fill up the vacancy occasioned by Mr. Forsaith's resignation, by the election of Mr. Fountain John Hartley, who has, by the regularity of bis attendance, his attention to the publications of the Union, and his efficient services as a member of the Visitation Sub-Committee, long rendered most valuable assistance to the Committee. They rejoice that he will now be placed in a station of still greater influence and usefulness.
In the last Report it was intimated that the Committee did not intend to make any further appeal on the subject of the debt still remaining in respect of the Jubilee Memorial Building. This intention was somewhat altered by the proceedings at the last anniversary. The Honourable G. F. Angas then urged that the debt should not be suffered to continue, and presented £26 on behalf of the teachers and scholars of South Australia; and Mr. Henry Lee, the indefatigable secretary of the Salforl Union, promised to contribute the last £25. The Committee felt themselves compelled to make known the desire thus expressed that this pecuniary obligation should be extinguished, and they have the pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of many contributions towards this object, amongst others, £26 12s, 9d. from the scholars and teachers of one of the South Sea Islands; £50 from Robert Ridley, Esq., Hexbam; £100 from Mr. D. Benham, a former member of the Committee ; and £32 Os. a further contribution from the Newcastle Union. The balance remaining due has thus been entirely extinguished ; and this noble building, which has cost with its furniture and fittings £8,298 7s. 3d., is now the property of the Union, free from all encumbrance, except the ground rent payable to the landlords, the Governors of St. Thomas's Hospital, and without the committee having been compelled to sell the Depository in Paternoster Row, which is satisfactorily let, and will yield an annual income to the funds. The trustees of the Union have executed a declaration of trust, stating that they hold the Jubilee Memorial Building and its contents at the disposal of the Committee of the Union for the time being. As the funds which would have been devoted to the
eral benevolent objects of the Union have been to some extent applied to the extinction of this debt, any further contributions on that account will be carried to the Benevolent account.
The lecture hall has been used during the winter for the exhibition of a model of the Tabernacle, the property of Mr. Dillworth, of Manchester, and prepared for him at a cost of £300. It is on a scale of one inch to the cubit, and exhibits that sacred building in all its details. The Committee felt much pleasure in assisting the Christian desire of Mr. Dillworth, that a public knowledge of this part of the Mosaic ritual might be diffused, especially in its typical relation to the Christian dispensation. They, therefore, gladly undertook the exhibition of this beautiful and instructive model; the lecture hall was suitably fitted up; some members of the Committee undertook the office of lecturers; and about 18,000 individuals have received the instruction thus provided. There was no idea entertained that it would be necessary to keep the model on view for so lengthened a period, but the Committee have felt unwilling to propose its removal, while there was manifested so much desire still to see it.
The preparation class, so long conducted by Mr. Cuthbertson on Wednesday evenings, still continues, but an attempt to conduct a training class during the winter did not succeed-probably from a cause which makes the want of success a motive for thankfulness rather than for regret,—the establishment of nine such classes in the Auxiliaries, which have been generally well attended. A prayer meeting was held for some time in the class room on Saturday evenings, and some lectures have been delivered in the lecture hall, but the attendance on them has not been satisfactory, and it will be necessary to consider in what way the ample accommodation at the disposal of the Committee can be rendered productive of most benefit to their fellow teachers.
The library and reading-room continue to be highly valued. Thé number of subscribers during the past year was 1,260.
The sixteen manuscripts sent in as competitors for the prizes of £25 and £10, offered by the Committee for a Teachers' Manual, have been examined by the three adjudicator's appointed by the Committee, and the prizes The adju
have been awarded in accordance with their report. There was not any difficulty felt in deciding which two were entitled to pre-eminence, but the determination of the relative merits of those two was found to require much more deliberation, so nearly equal were they found to be. dicators have added to their report the following observations :—“Most of the unsuccessful MSS. are very respectable, and some are characterized by considerable ability, vigour, and large acquaintance with Sunday school objects. We think it is highly gratifying that
in this competition so many worthy writers have appeared, manifesting not only increased interest but increased ability enlisted in the cause of Sunday schools."
Previously to the letters of the successful candidates being opened, the Committee resolved, in consequence of the opinion expressed by the adjudi. cators of the nearly equal merits of the two Prize Essays, to increase the second prize from £10 to £20.
It then appeared that, as in a former competition, the first prize had been won by a lady, the daughter of the late highly esteemed Rev. Dr. Henderson, while the second has been obtained by the Rev. J. F. Serjeant, Incumbent of St. Mary's Church, Bryanstone Square, and so well known by the writings which have long interested and instructed teachers.
The claims made on the Committee for the grants of lending libraries have much increased, but have been most cheerfully met. The number of libraries granted has amounted to 304. The schools thus assisted contained 60,745 scholars, of whom 37,903 were scripture readers. The libraries thus supplied would have cost at the retail prices £1,878 168. 9d., but the schools only paid the sum of £638 13s. 9d. for them, The total number of such libraries granted to the present time amounts to 4,252.
The Committee have found it convenient to have their Trade as well as their Benevolent accounts made up to the 31st of March. The amount of sales, £18,455 38., now reported, covers a period of fifteen months instead of twelve, but it may be considered as showing an increase in the year of about £3,000. So large an addition to the business of the Union renders an augmentation of the capital indispensable, and the Committee have, therefore, resolved to appropriate to that purpose the sum of £750 out of the profits of the year.
The increase in the sales of the periodicals published by the Union has both surprised and gratified the Committee. The “ Union Magazine," which last year advanced from a circulation of 4,000 to 6,000, now circu. lates 8,000 copies; and the circulation of the four monthly periodicals of the Union, which was last year reported to be 83,000 copies, has now reached 93,000 copies. The Committee have been encouraged by this success to add a fifth publication to their existing periodicals, "The Youth's Magazine." This work originated in the Committee of the Union; but that body not being prepared to undertake the responsibility, Mr. W. B. Gurney, the founder and secretary of the Union, in connection with one or two friends, undertook it, and in 1805 commenced this the first religious periodical for young people. It met with great success, was eminently useful, and yielded large profits, the whole of which were devoted by its conductors to educational objects. At length, however, it was injuriously affected by the
number of similar works which appeared on every hand; and in the year 1852 Mr. Gurney requested the Committee to take charge of it, saying, “I feel a great interest in the publication from hearing of very many instances in which it has been blessed, not only to the promotion of a tastefor reading, and the enlivening family circles and schools, but in the conversion of its youthful readers. One minister told me of seven instances within his knowledge, and many more came to our knowledge in a course of years." The Committee, however, felt that the periodicals they were then conducting required all the attention and funds at their disposal, and were, therefore, compelled to decline the proposal. The Magazine was continued, but under different management. During the last year, however, the Committee received information which led them to fear that it might be altogether discontinued. Respect for their late President, its originator, and still more, the conviction that such a publication was desirable, induced them again to consider whether they could now undertake it. The circulation of their other periodicals baving so increased, as to render them no longer a burden on the funds of the Union, and a prospect that they could obtain the services of a gratuitous editor, determined them to incur the responsibility, and on January 1 appeared the first number of a New Series. The Committee have not reduced the price, but have enlarged the size of the pages, and have added pictorial illustrations, which not only improve the Magazine in its monthly appearance, but will make the half-yearly volume a very attractive work for Lending Libraries. The editorship has been kindly undertaken by a member of the Committee-able contributors have been secured and the Magazine will, it is believed, be found a suitable and interesting periodical for the family circle.
The last report stated that the Committee had purchased the stock and copyright of " The Library of Biblical Literature," a work extensively circulated, and well adapted to aid teachers in their work. It then consisted of forty-five parts. In order to render it more complete, the Committee have added three parts, and have also arranged the work chrono; logically into six volumes, by which they believe its usefulness will be much increased...
Mr. Fitch has favoured the Committee by allowing them to publish a second lecture delivered by him to some of the training classes, entitled, “ The Art of Securing Attention in a Sunday School Class." This, with his former lecture on “The Art of Questioning,” will be published in one volume, with some prefatory observations by Mr. Fitch. These thoroughly practical works should be studied by every teacher.
The Committee have sought, by their deputations and correspondence, to keep up an intimate connection with the various local Unions throughout the country. . Thirty-six places have been personally visited, and the communications received evince not only a kind appreciation of the labours of the Committee for the benefit of the schools, but also considerable activity in carrying on the work within the limits of those respective Unions.
The Committee have thus briefly narrated their proceedings, which, Although unmarked by any extraordinary features, have yet, as they trust, been useful to their fellow-labourers in this work of the Lord, to whose as
sistance and improvement their services are consecrated, and to whom, in conclusion, they would desire to offer one or two practical suggestions. In the Report of last year the importance of diligent preparation on the part of teachers, to fit them to discharge with greater efficiency the duties they have undertaken, was urged, and the Committee would not retract a single expression to which utterance was then given. On the contrary, they have sought with diligence to provide means for rendering that preparation more easy, and that efficiency more complete ; and it has given them great pleasure to perceive by many tokens that their efforts to this end are duly ‘appreciated. But how can the talents thus improved be most profitably employed? In what way may the teacher hope to be most useful to the scholars ? An important question, and one which requires some attention to the distinguishing characteristics of Sunday school teaching, in order that it may be answered correctly. The distinction between the pastor and the teacher does not consist in the truth to be taught, which is alike for each, nor in the character of the individuals to be instructed, for the general con. gregation will comprise many quite as young as any of the scholars, but in the fact that while the pastor has to address a large and indiscriminate assembly, whom he must leave to apply to their own cases the truths declared, the teacher comes into more immediate contact with the minds and hearts of the scholars, is able to apply the truth to their individual cases, and thus to exert a personal influence of the most important and beneficial kind. Is this advantage rightly understood and adequately improved? If so, the teacher will soon become acquainted with the inner life of the scholar; the peculiar difficulties of the scholar will guide the thoughts, and influence the instructions of the teacher; opportunities will be sought for individual and frequent intercourse ; and even when separated so as to prevent this, the teacher's letter will follow the scholar, and invite reply, which may, under the Divine blessing, keep alive the hallowed feeling of mutual love, even under the most unfavourable circumstances. So far as can be traced, the means which have been so signally blessed in the schools of America have been earnest prayer for and with the scholars, and personal appeals from teachers to their scholars that their hearts might be given to the Saviour. So blessed have been the results attending this union of specific prayer and personal intercourse wherever employed, that the Committee cannot forbear urging its adoption on all their fellow-teachers as a course' most likely, under the Divine blessing, to accomplish the great object of their instructions, the bringing each one of their scholars to exclaim, from their inmost soul, "My Father, be thou the guide of my youth !"
HE THAT WATERETH IS WATERED. Tue Omniscient One alone can trace the final results, direct and indirect, flowing from human actions; but we are often permitted to know that Christian labor is not in vain. The faithful servant of the Master often receives an abundant reward in this life, as well as life eternal in the world to come. Dr. Waterbury once related the following facts in Boston, (U.S.) as an illustration of the methods of divine Providence :